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Old November 12th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #1
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Where to have Totas repaired

Should I just send them off to Lowell? This is really odd by the way. I've had two Tota lights die within weeks of each other. They haven't been mistreated at all, and have no dents or anything. When you flip the switch, nothing happens. There seems to be a lot of carbon build up on the contacts, and they seem a little pitted. What does that mean? I've never put a lamp higher than 750w in either of them by the way.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 07:17 PM   #2
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Marco,

Loose bulb contacts create arcing, and can 'burn out' the contacts of any high wattage lamp. The definition of 'burn out' can be either 'coat with carbon' which can be cleaned with a bit of emory cloth, or "Burn away material' like an arc welder, in which case the contacts must be replaced.

My advice, take a bit of sandpaper to the contacts, give it a twist, and check the lamps again. If still nothing, do a continuity test, to see if the contacts are hot, or if there's a short in the switch.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 08:57 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'll try that. But, uh, what's a continuity test?
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Old November 12th, 2005, 10:55 PM   #4
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You guessed it Richard. Thanks so much. I cut an emory board into pieces (so it would fit in that tiny space) and sure enough, after I sanded enough off both lights work. My guess is that I was so worried about keeping my fingers off the glass I didn't get the lamps to seat properly. I think I saved one of the lights, but the contacts on the other were corroded so much that after I scraped all the crud off the springs won't hold the lamp in tightly any more. When I pull the lamp out after just a few seconds of use, there's clear burn marks showing that it's arcing. I can feel a lot of play too. It actually rattles if you shake the light a bit. It buzzes too when I turn the light on. Damn. Can this be repaired? It looks like the contact assembly is held in place by rivets. I don't see how that can be replaced. Arggghhh....
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Old November 13th, 2005, 08:49 PM   #5
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I've repaired this problem on Totas several times. I pick up the spare part (the contact) at my local lighting supply house (Glazers in Seattle) for about $8. I drill out the rivets, rewire the new contact and pop rivet it on. Takes about a half hour.
This is definately the weakest point on a Tota light.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 04:44 AM   #6
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Petes got the solution.

A 'continuity test' is a check for a continuous electrical circuit. Usually performed with a VoltOmmMeter.
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Old November 15th, 2005, 10:29 PM   #7
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Hey Marco: Great that you were able to fix your Tota lights. The answer to your original question is to send any Lowel equipment back to Lowel for repair. We shipped four light stands back and had them returned about a week later, completely refurbished, free of charge. Ditto with a Tota light that burned out its base (it literally caught fire.)

It's a good idea to call first -- the number is on their web site -- but they didn't have a return number, just gave me a name to "attention" them to.

Jack
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